Template talk:Romeo and Juliet

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Possible pages for inclusion

Putting it on mainspace

I went ahead and started putting this on mainspace. It's not perfect, but it's still an excellent addition to wikipedia. Wrad 21:37, 29 September 2007 (UTC)

siAsdfjkl1235 (talk) 23:06, 15 May 2011 (UTC)


Wow, this is a great collection of links, but quite massive for a navigation box. Is it possible to break this one up into several, or have collapsed subsections? --Another Believer (Talk) 16:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Make your suggestions at WP:BARD. However, keep in mind that all of a sudden we have a complete set of templates for all the plays and they are in use all over the project in various ways. If you want to break one up, you should break up several of the large ones for consistency. However, I doubt consensus will be to split them. You might be able to get some consensus to collapse subsections. Look at all the templates in their uses within Template:Shakespeare's plays, at BBC Television Shakespeare, at Shakespeare: The Animated Tales. Basically, think about your suggestion in the context of its broad uses.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 17:39, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
Also, keep in mind that Bertaut and I have created most of these since September 2012. Prior to that we only had templates for 9 plays. We have attempted to build out a complete set for obvious reasons.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 17:52, 20 March 2014 (UTC)
P.S. You might want to take a look at the the recent additions to the template. I added most of them aggressively thinking that when someone took a closer look 10 or 20% of them might be removed.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 00:21, 21 March 2014 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── @TonyTheTiger and Bertaut: Above, Tony writes: “We have attempted to build out a complete set for obvious reasons.” If you don't mind, I would appreciate you enumerating those reasons. And so you have some context for my (presumably pedantic-, or even obtuse-, seeming) question: the relative paucity of per-play templates wasn't primarily a matter of "round tuits" but rather more related to a need for defining their desired scope and usage, ensuring a pleasing and functional design, and other such quality-related concerns. I'm a little bit concerned that at least this one (R&J) seems to have amassed a more or less indiscriminate (in scope, not in the quality of your efforts) list of every even tangentially R&J-related article on enwiki (Atomy, really?). So… I'd be interested to see how you would define the per-play templates' scope, criteria for inclusion, and intended usage.

PS. I've only looked peripherally (the odd single diff that popped up on my watchlist) and superficially at the new and updated templates, but even at that level it's clear that you've done an amazing job. Please don't take my questioning the scope or direction of your work as in any way detracting from the praise you're due. The work is excellent and much appreciated! --Xover (talk) 07:00, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

I didn't have any involvement with this template. I worked on a lot of the smaller ones (there's a full list of which ones I worked on my on user page). For what it's worth, I agree with you that this template is far too large. So is {{Hamlet}}. I do remember Five Antonios saying something at some point along the lines that these two templates were "unusable" because they had grown so exponentially. I think I remember agreeing with him, but that was petty much the end of the discussion. Bertaut (talk) 01:22, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
A few years back I spent a lot of time creating a lot of templates like these and later spent time expanding others. I think this was toward the tail end of my efforts. This is a large template. It might be improved with some content reduction. The simplest solution would be to collapse it in sections. I have seen some of my other works treated this way, such as {{Faust}}. In terms of reducing content, I think everything down to Plays should stay no matter what, which means the final form will still be rather large. In truth, I don't think much should be considered for removal apart from possibly the last 2 or 3 sections. The "Foreign stories" is the least connected to the other elements of the template because they are not adaptations of the work and are not necessarily inspired by it in any way. These are stories that are known as the Fooish Romeo and Juliet from each country Foo. However, they are the R&J of that country for being the single most storied romantic tragedy of that culture rather than resembling the source here. IIRC, each of them has content in the article claiming that it is the R&J of some other culture. Other than that section and some content in the "Other" section, I would pretty much oppose any other content removal due to its value to those using the source as a navbox to related content.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 02:41, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Ok, but what is your reasoning that leads to that conclusion? What are the criteria you use for inclusion (e.g. what would you not include)? And concomitant with that, what is your idea of what this template is for, usage-wise (e.g. which groups of articles should it be used on)?
Discussing the pruning of individual links is pointless unless we have some kind of consensus understanding of those larger questions. --Xover (talk) 04:53, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
WP:NAVBOX and WP:NAV both mention "grouping of links used in multiple related articles to facilitate navigation between those articles". I believe that this is a navbox that should contain links to subjects of interest to readers seeking content on the titular subject. This includes any related work, including all adaptations, sources of inspirations, derivations, reproductions, inspired works. I am not sure how closely related things should be, but I have even included story within a story content as related. I don't know definitively what "related" means.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 01:57, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
Hmm. My initial impression is that you would have to read WP:NAVBOX (and to a degree also WP:NAV) with fairly selective glasses on to arrive at the conclusion that something like Atomy (or (Don't Fear) The Reaper, to pick another random example) should be included. But in any case, I'm still hoping for an explication of your inclusion criteria (surely it isn't "everything", which really would count as "uncritical") and similarly on intended use of the template. For both aspects there must be some limit, some threshold, where an article link can fall either above or below. We need to establish what this is, what those criteria are, to be able to reason sensibly about what should be in the template. And specifically, if we start discussing individual links without establishing what those principles are we'll just end up in endless circles (we won't have the same frame of reference). To get anywhere we need to have a common understanding of what the principles for inclusion and use are, and to arrive there we need to start with an understanding of the principles you used when you (re)made the template(s). --Xover (talk) 09:40, 1 September 2015 (UTC)
I feel like I am suddenly being invited to play word games and to redefine the meaning of a Navbox. Atomy reminds me of half of the characters atop Template:Cinderella. Although Atomy is a minor character it is related to the topic in the same way.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 13:17, 1 September 2015 (UTC)


No, you're being asked to explain your reasoning in such a way that we can have a productive debate about what, if anything, should be done about this navbox's size.

I've asked for that several times now, and I've, I thought, been quite lengthy in my enumeration of what I'm asking for. I've also previously suggested—and am now going to be explicit that—my immediate position on it is that it is too large, includes too many irrelevant links, and makes it too hard to find the wheat among the chaff (but see final para). Other editors here and on WT:BARD have expressed the same concern (to which you've responded along the lines of "I expect 10–20% will be removed"). In fact, from my cursory reading I believe that every editor that has commented on that aspect has felt it was too large (not to suggest a firm consensus on it; there were few commenters and the issue was incidental).

I have also suggested directly that WP:NAVBOX, and to a lesser degree also WP:NAV, both of which you cited, not only do not support your position, in so far as you have explained it, but even appear to actively contradict it.

And, finally, since the inclusion of Atomy seems to have become the exempli gratia here, it may be enlightening as to my concern if I explain that there is no character named "Atomy" in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, despite the fame of the Queen Mab speech, there is no character named "Mab" (or any Queen) either. The Queen Mab speech occurs in Act 1, Scene 4 which consists of Romeo angsting about everything being hopeless because Rosalind doesn't love him back, and he's certainly not going to have fun or go to the party. To this Benvolio and Mercutio try to cheer him up and encourage him to "get some" (Shakespeare uses some really bawdy puns here). Romeo then starts to whine about his horrible, bleak, dreams; but Mercutio cuts him off with the mentioned speech, which basically boils down to "Dreary dreams aren't omens. If anything they're an evil fairy trying to get you down." (Jonathan Bate is turning in his grave, and the man isn't even dead yet). The speech begins around line 50 (editions differ on the line numbers) and runs on for almost 50 more, essentially to the end of the scene; the bulk of which is Mercutio enumerating the properties of "Queen Mab":

O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies' midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate-stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomies
Athwart men's noses as they lie asleep:
Her waggon-spokes made of long spinners' legs;
The cover, of the wings of grasshoppers;
Her traces, of the smallest spider's web;
Her collars, of the moonshine's watery beams;
Her whip, of cricket's bone; the lash, of film;
Her waggoner, a small grey-coated gnat,
Not half so big as a round little worm
Prick'd from the lazy finger of a maid:
Her chariot is an empty hazel-nut,
Made by the joiner squirrel or old grub,
Time out o' mind the fairies' coach-makers.
And in this state she gallops night by night
Through lovers' brains, and then they dream of love;
O'er courtiers' knees, that dream on court'sies straight;
O'er lawyers' fingers, who straight dream on fees;
O'er ladies' lips, who straight on kisses dream,
Which oft the angry Mab with blisters plagues,
Because their breaths with sweetmeats tainted are:
Sometime she gallops o'er a courtier's nose,
And then dreams he of smelling out a suit;
And sometime comes she with a tithe-pig's tail
Tickling a parson's nose as a' lies asleep,
Then dreams he of another benefice;
Sometime she driveth o'er a soldier's neck,
And then dreams he of cutting foreign throats,
Of breaches, ambuscadoes, Spanish blades,
Of healths five fathom deep; and then anon
Drums in his ear, at which he starts and wakes,
And, being thus frighted, swears a prayer or two,
And sleeps again. This is that very Mab
That plats the manes of horses in the night,
And bakes the elf-locks in foul sluttish hairs,
Which once untangled much misfortune bodes;
This is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage;
This is she—

You can read the whole thing over on wikisource (it's not long, the speech is literally half the scene).

Make note of how many of the words in that wall of text could potentially have been wikilinked and included in the navbox based on the example of "Atomy". However, if you look at a critical edition of the play (I checked three just now: Levenson 2000 (the Oxford edition), its 2008 reissue, and the RSC Complete Works), you'll find the speech runs over 6 pages due to the amount of notes and critical apparatus (~75% of each page). Among these, the sum total, apart from the gloss noting the different spellings in Q1–Q3, for "Atomy" is: "atomi tiny beings. Q2's 'ottamie' slightly misrepresents attomie, plural of the Latin atomus = atom. In little atomi the adjective emphasizes the minuteness of the team, performing with a noun the kind of function that it usually shares with another adjective (OED a. Ie)." It doesn't even rate an entry in the edition's, otherwise quite extensive, index.

In other words, "Atomy" is a single word in a ~50-line speech, that describes the diminutiveness of the beasts pulling a fairy queen's carriage, not even a specific creature, mythical or otherwise. Neither an "atomy" nor the fairy queen are themselves characters, they're just mentioned by a character. And to the degree the critical editions make note of it at all, they're not concerned with the subject of the article Atomy but with how it was spelled in Q1–Q3 and Shakespeare's creative use of language (they care as much about "little" as "atomy"). The word wouldn't even appear in the play article's plot summary, or anywhere in the text (nobody discusses "atomy" in any sense as an aspect or feature of the play), any more than Midwife or Agate would. Nor would one include it in the See also section. In short, the navbox is not a coatrack and an atomy is not a flea.

Now both Atomy and (Don't Fear) The Reaper are pretty obvious (if randomly picked) cases to me, so if that was all that was at issue we could just remove them and be done. But the wheat vs. chaff problem isn't really helped much by the removal of two links, which means we'll need some more or less structured way to decide what stays and what goes. The alternatives to hashing out the governing principles (the process you refer to as "play word games" above) is to have drawn out "I think this should go." "Nuh-huh!" rounds based on random editor opinion, or to go through the hours of research and the walls of text (this posting, as a prime example!) for every single even borderline link in the navbox. And having spent way, way, too much time on this post, I'm pretty sure I'd like to avoid those if at all possible.

So, for all that is good and holy, and for my sanity, can you please, if you're able, explain what you feel are the criteria against which potential inclusion in the navbox should be evaluated, and how one should decide which articles to place it on?

I'm prepared to be convinced that I'm either wrong (i.e. that there is no size problem) or that it is here unavoidable (i.e. that the de facto criteria for inclusion effectively mandate the problem), and I really didn't want to stake my pole in the "con" position at the outset, but that hinges on actually having a debate with a common frame of reference (which it is apparent, to me at least, that we currently lack). --Xover (talk) 19:52, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

  • Regarding Atomy, I now agree. In terms of the size of the template, one alternative is to use the Sherlock Holmes approach where the template is divided into several smaller templates: {{HolmesNovels}}, {{Sherlock Holmes by others}}, {{HolmesFilms}}, {{Sherlock Holmes video games}}, {{Sherlock Holmes other media}}, and {{Conan Doyle}}. I have never been interested in writing policies or guidelines, but I feel you are asking me to create one specifically for this template. Furthermore, you are asking me to define a subjective term in an objective manner. If it is more than a size issue. I.e., if you actually think many things in the template are of no interest to persons interested in the play that is another issue. Basically, that is a debate about the word "related". As I said above, some content below the plays section is debatable. The song you mentioned is probably in the 10-20% that might get removed by an expert on close inspection.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 06:09, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
    • Ah, thanks. I think I understand your position better now. Yes, indeed, I was effectively asking you to "write policy", but, if I can make the distinction, I was trying to tease out what the "de facto policy" you applied when creating the templates was (because I'm having trouble reverse-engineering it from its effects). It would obviously have been subjective, but lacking a policy or standard with wide community consensus for this, it would have been the best starting point available to us. And by putting that "policy" into words, and discussing it until we (hopefully) have a local consensus on the policy, we could more effectively decide what to do about the actual template and individual links.
      Extrapolating from (my understanding of) what you say above, I'm concluding that that approach does not appeal to you(?). As I'm uncomfortable (not necessarily opposed, per se, just uncomfortable) with diving straight into discussing "Drop this", "Group that", "Split off these" without some kind of framework to refer to, that leaves me at a bit of a loss as to how to proceed (suggestions would be most welcome!). I'll try to think up something and suggest it here if I have any ideas. Thanks for putting up with my pedantry so far!
      PS. As I recall you're quite involved with the various featured content processes? I don't suppose you recall any instance where this sort of problem has been discussed in a FAC or some such that we might usefully reference? --Xover (talk) 06:48, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
      • I have in the past promoted several WP:FAs and WP:FLs, but that has little to do with this discussion. We have WP:NAVBOX and WP:NAV, there is little reason for me to define what constitutes acceptable content by my own accord. We should apply those two pages to the content at issue. That is the more normal policy in situations like this. Personally, I don't like the Sherlock Holmes approach. I would rather one unified (although large) template.--TonyTheTiger (T / C / WP:FOUR / WP:CHICAGO / WP:WAWARD) 20:34, 2 September 2015 (UTC)
        • Really not much fond of the talky-talky, are you? :-) I'm somewhat long-winded by nature, and tend towards the pedantic in cases like this, so I hope you'll bear with me. Sorry! Anyways, I'll try to come up with something more concrete and actionable and get back to you. --Xover (talk) 08:55, 3 September 2015 (UTC)
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